Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was on Wednesday slapped with a second lawsuit by an unidentified actress, who also sought class action status, Reuters reported. The unidentified actress has accused the producer of sexual harassment and the lawsuit also implicates The Weinstein Company and Miramax, companies he co-founded, saying they helped facilitate and cover up the producer’s alleged sexual misconduct.
This is the first class action suit against Harvey Weinstein after multiple allegations of sexual assault and rape emerged against him in October.
In the 59-page complaint, the actress alleges that a number of Harvey Weinstein’s employees enabled his sexual misconduct. The lawsuit claims that there are “dozens, if not hundreds” of women who are proposed class members.
“Weinstein’s widespread sexual misconduct did not occur without the help of others,” the attorneys said in the class action complaint. “This coalition of firms and individuals became part of the growing ‘Weinstein Sexual Enterprise’.”
Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein founded the independent film studio Miramax in the 1979 and left it in 2005 to start The Weinstein Company. Miramax was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 1993, but currently belongs to BeIn Media.
Seeking damages that exceed $5 million, the actress alleged that Harvey Weinstein asked her to strip during an audition held at his office for a Miramax production. When she refused to undress, the producer threatened her career and then locked her in a stairwell, she said.
This comes a day after the producer and The Weinstein Company were sued in California on Tuesday by another actor who alleged Harvey Weinstein raped her in 2016. The actress, represented by attorney Gloria Allred, alleged that the producer invited her to a hotel to audition for a role in a television show, but instead pulled off her jeans and raped he.
Harvey Weisntein has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 70 women. He was fired from The Weinstein Company following the accusations, and is being investigated by law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, London and New York.
Harvey Weinstein’s spokesperson has reiterated that the producer denies all allegations of non-consensual sex. “Mr Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances,” the statement reads. “Mr Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.”